LOUISVILLE, Ky. – As many fans known, the 2021 campaign for the Louisville football program was a disappointing one.
While the Cardinals did manage to get back to the postseason after going 4-7 record in 2020, they ended their year with very little momentum. They were blasted 52-21 by Kentucky to end the regular season, and fell 31-28 to Air Force in the First Responder Bowl to end up at 6-7.
With the amount of talent Louisville has returning for the 2022 season, coupled with the fact that they had four one-score losses in 2021, some sort of change amongst the coaching staff was likely necessary if they were to get over the hump. Once the coaching carousel started spinning, head coach Scott Satterfield saw an opportunity.
Four position assistant jobs opened up following the end of the 2021 season, and two of coaches hired to replace them carried a coordinator role. Wesley McGriff was brought over from Florida to be the co-defensive coordinator and coach safeties, then a few days later Lance Taylor left Notre Dame for the offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach gig.
Both coaches were officially hired in mid January, but so far, it has been a smooth transition for the two.
“I’ll tell you what, when you get to my age, and you’ve been doing this as long as I have, you kind of got a blueprint on how to transition, unfortunately,” McGriff quipped. “Most of my moves have been promotions, so they’ve been good. But still though, the moving part of it, I think we got that down pat.”
Instead of having complete command of the defense, McGriff will split those responsibilities with Bryan Brown, who has been the defensive coordinator since Satterfield arrived in 2019, and the associate head coach since Feb. of 2021. McGriff has confidence that this dynamic won’t become a power struggle, adding that both guys just want to win – and that he’s “too old to have a daggone ego.”
“Just being in the building, and being around the guys, and learning a new scheme, it’s been great,” he said. “To have a chance to come here now, and do it with coach Satterfield and coach Bryan Brown, it’s a blessing.”
Scroll to Continue
As for Taylor, he is assuming a responsibility that no one person held last season. When Dwayne Ledford left for the Falcons after the 2020 season, Satterfield decided to split the traditional OC duties amongst the five position assistants.
Even though all those duties now fall on Taylor’s shoulders, which will in turn take some pressure off of Satterfield, he still very excited about the capabilities of the entire offensive staff. McGriff also echoed similar sentiments about the assistants on the defensive side of the ball.
“I’m really excited about our coaching staff,” he said. “I think one of the things that makes Louisville special is the people. Not only the people of Louisville, but the people that we have inside this building. I’m really excited about the coaching staff that coach Satterfield and Josh Heird have put together . I think there’s a great energy and buzz, I think there’s great chemistry within within the coaching staff. “
Not only have McGriff and Taylor spent a lot of time forging relationships with their colleagues, but with the players they coach as well. They have only gotten to see the players perform on the field for a couple weeks now, as spring practice starting in late February, but the familiarity with them is growing with each passing day.
“We spent a lot of time watching these guys on film study, and I’m feeling like I knew some of these guys, but it’s always great to get my hands on them and work with them on the field,” Taylor said. “All the great teams that I’ve been on, really good teams, there’s been really good back and forth between the offense and defense. Not one side winning or beating each other up every single day, there’s been good back and forth.”
(Photo of Wesley McGriff via SI’s AllGators)
You can follow Louisville Report for future coverage by liking us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram:
Facebook – @LouisvilleOnSI
Twitter – @LouisvilleOnSI
Instagram – @louisville_report
You can also follow Deputy Editor Matthew McGavic at @Matt_McGavic on Twitter